UTQIAĠVIK (BARROW), AK (August 19, 2019) – Quintillion, headquartered in Anchorage, AK, has generously donated 40 Mbps in bandwidth to Iḷisaġvik College, Alaska’s only tribal college, located in Utqiaġvik on the North Slope of Alaska.
Iḷisaġvik College Vice President and COO, Brian Plessinger, worked with Quintillion’s CEO, George Tronsrue III, and Chief Revenue Officer, Michael McHale, to increase the College’s bandwidth, meeting a huge need for Iḷisaġvik’s students, faculty, and staff members. Previously, Iḷisaġvik College was operating on only 10 Mbps. Starting August 2019, Iḷisaġvik’s capacity increased to a total of 50 Mbps, greatly improving its internet speed. CEO Tronsrue III initiated the generous donation after a meeting with VP/COO Plessinger revealed that the College was operating on only 10 Mbps. The donated bandwidth is facilitated by Iḷisaġvik College’s internet service provider, Alaska Communications.
“This partnership with Iḷisaġvik College and the community of Utqiaġvik is critically important to us,” said George Tronsrue III, Quintillion CEO. “We understand the kind of impact having access to high speed internet can have on students, faculty and staff and as the only Tribal College in Alaska and one of the few in the US, the college was unable to take advantage of other programs that could have given them either more budget, or more MB/dollar. We had the means and opportunity to provide some much- needed assistance and ‘do the right thing,’ which our entire team was eager to do. So, along with ACS, which is Quintillion’s customer delivering bandwidth in Utqiaġvik, we are honored to be able to enhance that experience through this donation. True broadband is changing lives in schools, healthcare facilities, businesses and homes in all of the Alaska communities the Quintillion subsea fiber optic cable system serves today … which is a great thing!”
Quintillion’s donation will have a demonstrable and immediate effect on operations at Iḷisaġvik College. Students will benefit from the increased speed in and out of the classroom. Faculty members using multimedia, internet-based resources within the classroom will be able to stream and download/upload much more quickly; students utilizing the internet on campus to study, or to participate in online classes, will also experience much more responsive speeds.
Dr. Pearl Brower, President of Iḷisaġvik College, is thrilled by Quintillion’s donation, and what it means for Iḷisaġvik students. “In rural Alaska, one of our greatest barriers is connectivity—both availability and cost. At Iḷisaġvik College, our current bandwidth is the lowest of all tribal colleges around the country. The contribution from Quintillion will allow Iḷisaġvik greater access at no cost. This will facilitate the education of all of our students. We thank CEO Tronsrue III for being proactive and generous when he heard about our great need. We are excited about this new partnership with Quintillion and look forward to better serving our constituents with faster campus internet.”
Iḷisaġvik College is grateful to Quintillion for its donation. Residing in arctic Alaska can pose infrastructure challenges for any organization, but Quintillion’s generosity has helped remove the cost burden of faster internet connectivity, and thus improved learning accessibility for Iḷisaġvik College students.
About Quintillion – Quintillion is a private global communications corporation located in Anchorage, AK. Quintillion built and operates a subsea and terrestrial high-speed fiber optic cable system that spans the Alaskan Arctic and connects to the lower 48 using other existing networks. The three-phase Quintillion Subsea Cable System is ultimately intended to connect Asia to Western Europe via the southern portion of the Northwest Passage through the Alaska and Canadian Arctic.